Just when it seemed that an exit via an IPO had become more of a pipe dream than an ROI strategy, public offerings are back in vogue, at least for one quarter.
Over the past four weeks, at least six venture- and private equity-backed companies went public on U.S. exchanges, with several posting the kinds of first-day stock price pops reminiscent of a bubblier era.
Market watchers, meanwhile, predict more to come.
“With the number of global tech deals doubling from the fourth quarter last year and U.S. venture-backed companies beginning to see daylight, we could be witnessing the revival of the IPO market’s traditional growth sectors,” wrote analysts at
Communications networking companies, which have seen scant IPO exit activity in recent years, staged among the most forceful comebacks. Three have gone public in the past two weeks, all pricing at or above the high end of proposed share price ranges.
Shares in wireless network provider
Telecom equipment maker
Previously, Calix had raised about $220 million in venture funding from
Telecommunications-related companies weren’t the only ones making their debuts in the last three months.
Meanwhile, at least 10 venture- and private equity-backed companies filed to go public in the past four weeks.
They include two financial services companies, such as Envestnet, a provider of investment tools for financial advisors that is looking to raise $100 million, and Higher One, a provider of services for higher education financing that filed to raise up to $100 million.
In the communications sector, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Beceem Communications, which develops chipsets for 4G applications, filed for a $100 million public offering, and Telx Group, a provider of managed network services, filed to raise $100 million.
Two semiconductor companies also filed, including Alpha & Omega Semiconductor, a venture-backed developer of power semiconductors, which is looking to raise $116 million; and MagnaChip Semiconductor, a private equity-backed South Korean maker of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products, which filed for a $250 million IPO. The company previously filed for a $575 million IPO in late 2007, but pulled the offering due to “unfavorable market conditions.” It later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, wiping out previous shareholders.
Others lining up at the IPO launching pad include SciQuest, a Cary, N.C.-based developer of supply chain management applications that aims to raise up to $75 million; IronPlanet, an operator of an auction site for used heavy equipment that is seeking to raise $92 million; Energy and Power Solutions, a provider of energy efficiency solutions seeking $25 million; and SeaCube Container Leasing, a container leasing business and subsidiary of a Fortress Investment Group portfolio company, which filed for a $165 million IPO.